Reviews

Withings Go – Back to Basics Activity Tracker – User Review

September 16, 2016

If I recall right, the Withings Go was the last activity tracker to be released by Withings before the company’s acquisition by Nokia. The Go activity tracker stood out in the sea of trackers by going back to the fundamentals; focusing on decent activity tracker capabilities with a clean appearance.

I had the Withings Go for a week and here’s what I have to say.

WITHINGS GO IN SHORT

Pros

  • All day activity tracker
  • Tracks steps, distance, calories
  • Automatically tracks running and swimming activities
  • 8 months battery life
  • Watch display and progress meter
  • Can be worn multiple ways
  • E-ink display

Cons

  • Lack of features; no audio, vibration nor smart notifications
  • High price
  • Better alternatives on the market
  • E-ink display useless in the dark

 

LOOK AND FEEL

The Withings Go tracker is a solidly built activity tracker that’s robust enough for swim tracking. A single coin cell battery powers the device for up to 8 months which should be expected considering the stark lack of other features.withings go front-and-backThe E-ink display performs superbly under bright sunlight. Unfortunately the lack of a back light source effectively neutered the Withings Go in the night; this reminded me of the first edition of Garmin’s Vivofit which lacked a back light, but that was 3 years ago.withings go with-belt-clipThere are no audio beeps nor vibrations. Not that it’s required since the Withings Go has no capacity in the smart notifications front. You have the option to wear the Withings Go on the wrist or on the waist with the belt clip; both accessories come with the activity tracker.

FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION

AUTOMATIC ACTIVITY RECOGNITION

withings-go-runThe notable feature here is the automatic activity recognition. Be it swimming, cycling or running, the Withings Go will record it in app.

In running mode, you’ll get to see the distance estimated based on the in device accelerometer, calories, duration and steps. Again all these are merely estimates and shouldn’t bother anyone who just needs a simple activity tracker.withings go on-handIn swim mode, you’ll have to pop the Withings Go into the wrist band and change the configuration in the mobile app accordingly. Otherwise swim tracking will not be enabled.

This automatic activity recognition feature might be handy for those of you who’d rather go about your activities and not having to bother with buttons to start and stop tracking and so on. It’s not a killer feature but it’s convenient.

This feature isn’t new on the market and variations of activity identification can be seen in companies such as Garmin, Misfit Wearables, Fitbit and Jawbone.

WATCH MODE

withings go time-featureA single press on the display brings up an analog watch face for about 10 seconds after which it will revert back to the progress display. It would be great it there was the option of keeping it in watch mode.

All day activity tracking

The Withings Go is an all day activity tracking that can be worn either on the wrist or anywhere else you deem suitable when attached to a clip. All the tracked stats are then synced and stored on Withings’ Healthmate mobile app.withings-go-healthmatesThe mantra is basically “Wear and forget.” Sleep tracking is automatic and is further categorised into light and deep sleep. There were occasions when sleep duration was over recorded simply because the Withings Go was left on the table and not worn until bed time.

I was pleasantly surprised to see naps being recorded. Again this is a hit and miss because periods of extended inactivity while sitting down were recorded as naps on one occasion.

Healthmate mobile app

The mobile app has undergone multiple updates and it’s undoubtedly more useful now than it was 2-3 years ago.withings-go-on-health-mate-sharing The most prominent update is the ease of sharing your workouts where you can add the activity stats (tracked activities, steps or even sleep) to your social media accounts or save it as a picture for later usage.withings-healthmate-webYou can also access Healthmate via the web where the display interface should allow you a clearer overview of your stats.

WITHINGS GO IN A NUTSHELL

withings go -in-belt-clipThe most remarkable feature about the Withings Go is that it works silently in the background. No lights, no  vibrations nor audio beeps. It just goes about collecting the day’s activities and syncing it with the Healthmate app when possible.

Now this is great if you’re the sort who just needs a workhorse tracker doing what it’s supposed to while you review the stats once a day or a few times a week.

Then again, there are other trackers on the market capable of doing that at a quarter of the price, think Misfit Wearables. Or you can simply using the Healthmate app to track your activities (without activity recognition) by enabling tracking from the mobile device if you’re using an iOS device.withings go -featureThere’s added incentive to purchase the Withings Go only if you’re already on the Withings ecosystem of products such as  the wireless blood pressure monitors, wireless thermometers or the body analysis scales. By collating all the data into one common platform, it makes for ease of reference.

At present, the Withings Go is not the best value for money activity tracker your money can get you. Sure you’re paying for E-ink display, lengthy battery life and automatic activity recognition, but the alarming absence of features for $80 really had me going that’s it? I’m afraid so.

The Withings Go is available in 5 different wrist band colours. You can purchase the Withings Go at $79.99 from Amazon where there’s usually a small discount, great return policy, and free delivery depending on where you reside. In return your purchase helps to offset the costs associated with the running of this site. Thanks for reading!

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